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ALEXANDER, VOK  HDMBOLDT.                22 J
terror, their manes no longer bristled, and tlieir eyes
no longer glared so fearfully. The Indians maintained
that if tlie horses were driven into the water of electric
eels  on two consecutive   days,  none would die the
second day.    The eels now timidly approached the
shore, where they were caught with little harpoons
attached to long ropes.    If the  ropes were perfectly
dry, no electricity was felt while hauling out the fish,
but it was communicated through the wet ropes.    In
a few minutes five large eels were caught which were
only slightly wounded, and others were caught in the
evening in a similar manner.    This was the wonderful
combat of* the fishes and the horses : and Humboldt
adds: that power which is the invisible living defence
of these water inhabitants ; which is developed by tie
motion of moist or unequal parts ; which circulates in
all organs of animals and plants ; which thunderingly
inflames the expanse of heaven ; which unites iron to
iron, and  guides the calm,  revolving course of the
needle ; all this, like the colour of the prismatic ray,
flows from one source—all is resolved into one eternal
universal force.
The impression which a tropic storm mates upon
a European, a stranger to this zone, is very imposing;
the phenomena of the atmosphere are not accidental,
but succeed each other in the equinoctial regions with
a wonderful uniformity,
Nothing can equal the pureness of the atmosphere
from December to February. The sky is always
cloudless ; and if a cloud appears, it is a remarkable
phenomenon.. The eastern and east-north-eastern
breeze blo\YS violently, and as the atmosphere it
brings is of a uniform temperature, the mist cannot
become visible by refrigeration.
Towards the end of February, or the beginning of
March, the sky is coloured of a darker blue, the